So earlier today I retweeted something about people’s attitudes towards GST, and I got a reply from a person who was offended by the opinion. In their reply, they said (among other things) that I was not using my brain at all. Tak pakai otak, katanya. I’d like to attack this idea of saying that other people aren’t using their brains.
See, I don’t think they meant it literally. I don’t think that they actually believe that my brain was dead upon retweeting and replying to the initial tweet, because if I wasn’t using my brain at all, I would even have retweeted the tweet in the first place. I would most probably have been dead. Or asleep. Whichever way, still disabling me from acting at all the way I did.
What I think the person actually meant was that I was using my brain wrongly. I was thinking about it the wrong way, according to them. That I didn’t have access to the truth that they had, thus I came out with the malicious retweet in support of the said tweet. Because I didn’t hold the same opinion that they did, I must have a defect in my brain, or at least in how I was using it, since I didn’t arrive at the truth that they did.
Here’s how it is: different people think differently. You can’t help that, since different people were raised differently and have different circumstances surrounding them. For example, one growing up as a son of a mildly successful restaurant owner in the city, and one growing up as a daughter of two public school teachers. Can you say that one worldview is better than the other. No. Neither of them are superior nor inferior. They’re just different. It can’t be helped.
Now, who is to say that any opinion held by the son is invalid? Who is to say any opinion held by the daughter is invalid? Just because their opinions don’t match on certain issues, does that mean that one of them isn’t using their brains properly? No, because they are both informed by different things. One person thinks about it this way, and the other person thinks about it the other way. Neither one of them have any right to accuse the other of not using their brains properly. They’re both using it in the unique way they were taught or shown how to use it.
Running with that logic, the one where a person who doesn’t think the way you think is using their brains wrong, would it be such a leap of the imagination to accuse you of the same. If all it takes for one to be using their brains wrongly is by thinking differently from the other, than everyone in the whole wide world is using their brains wrongly. And that can’t be right, can it?
Real talk: different people think differently. Sure, it’s a tough pill to swallow, but open up your heart to understanding that it’s a fundamental thing to hold on to in order for us to be open to learning new things and grow and prosper. Be kind, and let yourself be wrong sometimes. Ask yourself on the regular, “what if I’m wrong?” and be open to discovering a different truth that might just be better and make more sense to you than the one you hold on to at the moment. Be humble enough to admit that you sometimes make mistakes, and be forgiving enough towards yourself to say “that’s okay”.